Memorial Day is the official beginning of summer and a Gin and Tonic is the official drink. With hot weather comes the need for lighter, brighter libations than we typically enjoy during the cold months. The perfect antidote to summer temperatures is a gin and tonic. They’re quick and easy to make, relaxing and thirst quenching.
The history of gin begins in ancient times. Beginning in the middle ages, which is the period from 500 to 1500 A.D. Originally conceived as an herbal medicine it has evolved into the popular spirit we enjoy today.
Invention of the G&T is generally credited to the army of the British East Indies Company. Stationed in India where malaria was a common illness and for which quinine was the cure, necessity became the mother of invention. Quinine alone was too bitter to swallow, so they began adding gin with sugar and lime juice. This combination of ingredients created a chemical reaction that negated the bitterness of the quinine and voila, the prevention of malaria became an enjoyable cocktail.
Tonic today, doesn’t need a medicinal dose of quinine and is also pre-sweetened. Gins provide endless flavor variations and the number is growing thanks to the explosion of boutique craft distilleries. Go ahead. Establish a noble goal to try them all. Betcha can’t.
Let’s pause now. It’s hot and I’m thirsty. Let’s make a great summer drink!
And just one more thing…
Raise a glass to the fallen on Memorial day because they are the reason you stand.